Last week I was interviewing Matt Bershadker, CEO of the ASPCA and he explained the often unknown horror that animals who had undergone severe abuse were many times euthanized because they were not ready for adoption. In puppy mills for example dogs would be in a vertical stack of cages with only 6 inches on each side to move; the ones in the bottom cages would additionally have other pets feces pour down on them. Imagine the unfairness of after going through that to then be killed!

Matt explained how the real breakthrough for ASPCA was understanding the importance of the mental training, which could help bring puppies to the point where they were ready emotionally for a new owner, and hence could be saved. So based on that ASPCA created The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center which is now becoming the training ground across America where dogs  ‘graduate’ ready for a positive next phase of life. I asked Matt to explain the importance of the center. Matt shared, “The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center program was born from a real need. In June 2010, we worked on a case involving a hundred dogs, and several of them exhibited such severe fear that they weren’t suitable for adoption. That night, we imagined a facility where abused animals like these dogs could recover and learn how to be pets. From then on, we were determined to build it. The Behavioral Rehabilitation Center gives these dogs the second chance they need and deserve, and by partnering with select shelters around the country to expand the Center’s scope, it will help more dogs in need overcome their trauma and find safe and loving homes.”

To me this is an inspiring story of how an organization can change its strategy to re-write the playbook of how their ‘customers’ are treated. As a CEO, what new strategies can you implement to create a new model for your beloved customers?

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